Pontifications: Airbus slows A320 production ramp up; widebody rates squishy

By Scott Hamilton

Jan. 25, 2021, © Leeham News: JP Morgan thinks Boeing 787 production rates will come down more than the 5/mo planned from May.

Airbus last week announced ramping up A320 rates will be slower than previously hoped.

And Airbus’ widebody rates, while maintained for now, seem squishy.

A320 rates

Airbus last year notified the supply chain to “protect” rate 47/mo for the A320 lines for the second half of this year, with July as the target. Spirit Aerosystems, a supplier, said it December it saw the rate going to 47/mo in October.

Not so fast, Airbus said last week.

The current rate of 40/mo goes to 43 in the third quarter and 45 in the fourth quarter. Rate 47 now won’t happen until 2022.

The A220 rate goes from 4/mo to five at the end of this quarter, as previously announced.

Airbus’ press release used the verb “will” in all cases.

Widebody rates

But Airbus was less firm for the A330 and A350 rates.

“Widebody production is expected to remain stable at current levels, with monthly production rates of around five and two for the A350 and A330, respectively,” Airbus said. “This decision postpones a potential rate increase for the A350 to a later stage.”

Maybe we’re reading too much into it, but Airbus use the word “around.”

“Airbus continues to monitor the market closely. With these revised rates, Airbus preserves its ability to meet customer demand while protecting its ability to further adapt as the global market evolves. Airbus expects the commercial aircraft market to return to pre-COVID levels by 2023 to 2025,” the OEM said.

Boeing production

Tomorrow, LNA’s Vincent Valery takes a deep dive into Boeing’s production rate outlook across all 7-Series lines.

Boeing’s 2020 year-end earnings call is Wednesday. Undoubtedly, production rates will be a topic on the call.




81 Comments on “Pontifications: Airbus slows A320 production ramp up; widebody rates squishy

  1. I think they are careful, everybody hopes vaccines will open up the business in the summer, but nobody is sure. The large buffer of parked, young aircraft will probably delay new orders and deliveries. Airlines are in survival mode. Getting expensive, 10% more efficient aircraft is the least of their priorities when they are letting go thousands of colleagues, load factors are below 50% and most flights cancelled. I’m surprised how many aircraft they are able to deliver.

    • I think its more towards the end of summer. We are doing a million a day and should ramp up beyond that but how far is unknown. We need 600 million more or less.

      US stimulus being held up right now to lend uncertainty to things.

      Some news that 2nd shot can be delayed which might be good for strategy on getting first shots.

  2. The Airbus rate projections are admirably resilient but probably overly optimistic. Outside the US, aviation is on its knees, with matters currently getting worse rather than better — mostly due to the new CoViD variants and the various efforts underway to curtail their spread. Within the US there hasn’t yet been the same effect on aviation; however, with the new variants now spreading in the US, and with the different priorities of the new administration, it won’t be surprising if there is a significant deterioration of US aviation within weeks.

    On top of this, the airline industry may be starting to realize that vaccines are not going to be a panacea (see link). The rollout of vaccines in the west is now being hampered by production problems, India has just started on its gargantuan vaccination task, most of Asia/Oceania is in no hurry, and nothing is happening in Africa. Moreover, there is the ongoing specter of (partial) vaccine escape among new virus variants.

    So, the question is: which airlines will survive 2021 at all, and what will be their appetite to take previously ordered airframes, not to mind placing new orders? Worsening the situation: the secondhand market is awash with relatively young airframes at attractive prices.


    • Selective quarantine might start to affect things but agree that a full on recovery is not happening until vaccine are rolled out over the whole world.

      Vaccine refusal in Asia could mean your vaccine passports. Might just link it to a regular passport and has to be shown before en-plane to a Vaccine zone.

    • Surprising that airlins have the money to take deliveries nowdays or do they have friendely banks/leasing companies they do sale lease-backs to?

      • As near as I can tell, most if not all are being sold to lease companies.

        Hard to follow it all but a built to spec that requires no changes for an Airline and then lower up front costs for said airline by selling it.

        Where the lessors are getting their investment money from would be a good read.

      • Thats it. They bargain with Boeing or Airbus for a great deal and when it comes to take delivery do an ‘over financed’ sale and leaseback deal for a higher price than they negotiated . When considering the pre purchase deposits already paid to the manufacturer the airline gets a considerable cash sum in their hand upon delivery. Usually works best for the majors who are getting government subsidies/loans to cover their costs including lease costs

  3. Somewhat off-topic, in that it relates to the MAX.
    On the other hand, it does concern the narrowbody market landscape in general.

    BBC: “Boeing 737 Max cleared to fly again ‘too early’ ”

    “…in a new report, Ed Pierson claims that further investigation of electrical issues and production quality problems at the 737 factory is badly needed.”

    “Ed Pierson’s report is very disturbing, about manufacturing issues in the Boeing factories that go well beyond just the Max, and also affect… the previous version of the 737,” says Capt Sullenberger.”

    “He believes changes are needed to warning systems aboard the plane, which were carried over from a previous version of the 737 and are “not up to modern standards”.”



    • @Bryce

      Thanks for this very informative link

      Mr Pierson is all too welcome, both clear minded and well written

      Of note is his attention to facts which get shifted aside, downgraded, and which, in any case, can be overlooked in investigative reports many hundreds of pages long, which in turn are a selection and presentation of the millions and millions of significant elements

      A counter to the Voice of Truth (TM)

      • @ Gerrard
        Yes, I agree with you that Mr. Pierson deserves every opportunity to be heard, and that his claims deserve to be taken very seriously. After all, even an all-American icon like Captain Sullenberger has expressed his concerns on this subject matter. As an aside: interesting that Sully (an A320 pilot) describes the MAX as “not up to modern standards”.

        Although the new report will, of course, be dismissed by Boeing cronies, I’m sure that the Chinese will be very interested in what Pierson says. Based on one of your links below, if the Chinese don’t certify then Boeing loses access to about 40% of the global aviation market — ouch!

    • Pierson has been given every opportunity to present his claims. He testified before Congress, and they’ve been investigated by Boeing and the FAA, also considered by 3 other major world regulators and the NTSB. He’s been given a wide public platform. But his claims have not been substantiated.

      As an example, he points to the numerous alarms in the JT610 aircraft in the weeks leading up to the accident. But the accident report found they were related to an intermittent fault in the original AoA sensor. This fault did not show up in standard testing. Thus the Lion Air technicians cleared the messages without identifying the cause. Which they did also just before JT610.

      The FAA addressed AoA inspections in the RTS AD. Each aircraft’s sensors must be inspected before flight, and the manufacturer also has new inspection tests to identify intermittent faults before shipment. Thus far, there are not widespread reports of sensor issues.

      He also points to incidents in new MAX aircraft, that were unexplained. But the FAA examined those and found them to be statistically insignificant, and unrelated to the accidents.

      In the BBC article, there is also this quote from a senior inspector (wise words again):

      However, he adds that “taking the limited information in any accident report… and making fresh interpretations of it, is not the same as conducting a new investigation”.

    • @Bryce

      Apparently Mr Pierson has been discredited disbarred by Boeing who have told us to disregard his comments

      So that’s what we will have to do

      PS Jab and go Ryanair advert banned : O’L suggestion of sunny clear bleu vaccined skies by mid 2021 no worries JJ see ya

      Has been nixed by Irish Gvmt as not diverse and not truthful

      • @ Gerrard
        Yes, it seems that O’Leary and Joyce just don’t get it when it comes to the limited effect of vaccination on international travel. I’m reminded of O’Leary’s optimism in the fall, when he said that he expected to have a normal summer season this year.

        On that subject: Moderna is already modifying its vaccine to cope with the SA variant (first link). Although Moderna tries to be upbeat by saying “the vaccine generated a weaker immune response against the South African strain, but the antibodies remained above levels that are expected to be protective against the virus”, this is at variance with the heavily-cited Wibmer et al. paper published on BioXRiv last week, which indicates that conventional antibody-binding to the SA variant is insignificant (the second link provides a “readable” synopsis). Medical personnel in Manaus in Brazil are already seeing widespread re-infections there due to the similarly disruptive new Brazilian variant.



        • As posted previously here, and verified now by multiple studies, the mRNA vaccines are effective against all strains, although there is a decline in effectiveness with the SA variant. As Dr Fauci pointed out, the decline is unlikely to be significant because the existing mRNA vaccines are starting from above 90%. Thus there are no plans to change the existing vaccination strategy.

          Also as mentioned, the mRNA vaccines are easily tweaked and will be adjusted as the virus mutates. If boosters shot are required as time goes on, they will be available. But at present, no plans to use them. Although future shipments of vaccine may include the tweaks as well.

          Other types of vaccines (non-mRNA) are still an open question as to the new variants. Moderna is looking at the potential booster shot market for those vaccines, if it is needed.


          • Moderna:
            Scientists found that there was a sixfold reduction in the vaccine’s neutralizing power against the variant, called B.1.351, than against earlier forms of the coronavirus,

            CDC reviewing new data that suggests coronavirus variant identified in UK could be more deadly

            People who had survived mild infections with the coronavirus may still be vulnerable to infection with a new variant; and more worryingly, the vaccines may be less effective against the variants. […]

            Sky News
            COVID-19: Matt Hancock says South African variant could reduce vaccine efficacy by half

          • Correction, there was a six-fold reduction in the prevalence of selected antibodies in response to the virus. But those are not the only antibodies produced, nor are antibodies the only response of the immune system.

            Considering selected antibodies is also the basis of the argument against longevity of protection. But as has been demonstrated, the protection outlasts the antibodies, due to other immune mechanisms. Which is why we still have no significant rate of re-infection.

            The variations in antibody response produced by the vaccine, as well as the T-cell immune mechanism, also provides for neutralization of the SA and UK variants. These are the findings of the studies I’ve posted here, that look at the broad immune response to the variants.

            We can argue interpretations of the data all day, the bottom line is that the current vaccination program is continuing with the expectation of protection against the SA and other variants, based on the data thus far. The protection will likely be reduced somewhat for some variants, but not enough to prevent neutralization, or to invalidate the vaccination.

            In addition, the mRNA vaccines will be tweaked to better address the variants, and future mutations. These are facts and the truth. People can argue against this all they like, it doesn’t change the reality.

  4. Airbus news


    Airbus has filed for a patent for their invention of hydrogen ‘pods’ 6 per plane, placed under the wings, to be removable – meanwhile the article states Airbus will take a final decision on hydrogen in 2025


    This article compares the commercial success of Airbus over 2020 with the failures of Boeing, but points out the unfair favouring of Boeing by US DoD which is said to vital to the survival of BAC : the article gives the following figures for State Support : BA $144B, AB $4B


    6 satellites to be built by AB : this in tune with the launching of the EU alternative to the GPS system, Galileo, claimed to be a more efficient system than the US


    An overall look at Airbus’ performance in 2020 : AB forecast the China market moving rapidly to 40% of the world market as opposed to 30% current – Airbus sales 31% China, 28% Europe, 18% US, 9% ME, 6% South America

    • Wow…what a collection of interesting links! We should all extend our news searches to include more French (and German) sites.

      Those underwing pods are complete tank+fuelcell+motor+propellor units, and have the stated advantage of “freeing up space” in the fuselage.

      As luck would have it, the second link has a segment that chimes with my comment above regarding aviation re-normalization:

      “Mais le déploiement des vaccins s’avère plus lent que prévu, leur durée de protection incertaine (peut-être égale à l’immunité naturelle de 6 mois après contamination, les labos espèrent davantage mais sans certitude) et n’empêchent pas d’être contaminant pour les autres passagers.”

      • @Bryce

        In keeping with the intention to balance the endless negative news reports about BA, crashes, groundings, losses and more – this has gone on for years now and shows no sign of letting up

        It is perhaps useful to report and quote the more positive news reports on Airbus

        In this way to obtain a balanced debate and overall assessment of the airtravel and airliner market

        Compare and contrast – engineering, commercial strategies, marketing, investment in alliance, not craven co operation with capital

        I can do French but not German – and I assume that the German Press is if anything more involved in reporting on AB than the French, given German crucial role in all EU decisions, commerce, and policies, especially with regard to CAI with China

        • Gerald:

          While I fully applaud Airbus and its operations post the scandal, there should be some serious cautions here as well.

          A larger China market conflict with posts about how competitive China will be in single aisle. Airbus then does not benefit as China forces the 919 on its airlines (which it controls).

          Or the Airlines give it lip service, park em and get as many Airbus or Boeing aircraft as they can manage.

          China is not a competitive market regardless, its state run and driven.
          It will be interesting to watch but a 919 also would not be allowed to operate in Singapore, Japan and likely other Asians countries airspace (Indonesia of course might be an exception)

          There is a venture for the ARJ21 in Indonesia, I predict it falls flat on its face.

      very big typo on BOURSORAMA article
      $144B is fishy
      the 144 figure is actually the quantity of F15EX planes, their value is a less glamorous $22,9B
      the $144B figure comes at the end of the article with absolutely no prior justfication.
      Aux Etats Unis, la plus grosse commande de l’année a été passée mi-juillet 2020 par l’US Air Force : 22,9Mds$ pour une quantité indéterminée d’avions de chasse F-15EX mais qui pourrait s’élever à 144 appareils, dont un premier lot de 8 appareils (valeur : 1,2Mds$) est déjà en cours d’assemblage sur le site de Saint-Louis du Missouri.

      Mais à l’échelle de l’US Air Force, 23Mds$, c’est un budget presque banal quand on sait qu’elle a déjà dépensé plus de 400Mds$ dans le nouveau chasseur/bombardier polyvalent furtif F-35 Lightning II qui n’est toujours pas pleinement opérationnel (le F-35 est l’aéronef le plus cher de l’histoire de l’aviation civile et militaire : il revient à plus de 2Mds$ l’exemplaire).

      L’armée de l’air américaine pourrait donc acheter en 2021 de nouveaux appareils F-15EX dont le coût de fabrication a été fortement abaissé (même cellule, même voilure) par le nombre d’exemplaires produits depuis 20 ans de F-15 d’origine vieillissants.

      Là encore, en imaginant qu’Airbus capte à lui seul 50% des 8MdsE, cela lui apporterait 4MdsE… à mettre en balance avec les 144Mds$ de l’US Air-Force.

  5. In covid times nobody can be sure that the complete workforce is going to work tomorrow, not Airbus and not suppliers. Government restrictions could play a role too. So even if Airbus is using the word “will”, it means nothing certain and is not important. The plan could change in April again.

    For me the production rate is only important to calculate the undelivered planes because it could show problems. The actual production rate, not the future plan.

    • Well its not like a lessor does not want to limit competition!

      It does not mean he is wrong but like insisting Dickson is a credible source, no, he was a political appointee and not to be trusted.

      Very selective remarks to the MAX even when valid and ignored the 787 issues entirely .

  6. New report from Dhierin Bechai on the 787 reach forward loss – the analyst is increasingly pessimistic about BA’s ability to ‘zero out the balance’

    « While I previously have been upbeat about the prospects of the program built on a strong demand environment supporting production rates of 10 aircraft per month, that environment no longer exists, eroding the margins of the program as build rates are coming down and costs to inspect Dreamliners for manufacturing deficiencies at the fuselage joins are adding costs to the program. And while my model doesn’t show it yet (but does show a tight margin), I would not be surprised if in a dramatic turn of events Boeing will be facing a reach-forward loss on the Dreamliner program, a program that has generated cash for Boeing’s business for the past years.

    For Boeing, it remains important that the Boeing 787 can function as a strong base in the future wide body strategy. »


    Maybe Biden will boost BA, somehow


    • Ref to US mfg items not assembled from them thar foreign parts.

      More like a good solid US NEMA contractor vs the cheap low to no standard IEEE type shoe horned in under ISO9000 (European plot to bring American mfg to its knees)

      ISO is nothing more than a statement we plan on making junk and this is how we ensure its made bad consistency.

      Not that I feel strongly about it or did not have to deal with that garbage.

  7. With the SJ182 killing, TK1951 comes into the headlight again. This is NEW now because of the epic MAX truth the world has learnt.
    Boeing and FAA knew for over 30 years about single sensor failures and did nearly nothing.

    In the SJ182 case we can be sure that an independent software audit was never made. I wouldn’t wonder if 737 are grounded soon, I am expecting it.
    Since Boeing knew about the 787 issues for nearly one year and can’t fix the issues, it’s only a question of time when major checks will ground 787.
    Could we see a 787 crash? In April 2019 Boeing said that the MAX was safe too. Is Dickson already calculating how many 787 will crash? Who would trust Dickson with his criminal reputation?

    With 737 and 787 on the ground, which planes could be flown?
    Not many Boeing planes left.
    Bye Bye Southwest.
    Alaska would keep Airbus planes.
    Ryan could only fly Lauda, O’Leary will become a laughing stock.
    Because of this epic Boeing disaster, who would want to join O’Leary and get kicked out of business.
    Tim Clark is asking the right questions.
    The END

    • A bit speculative and we can hope not, but there is a caution in there, its not what we know now its what has been covered up.

      Dickson is out by the way. He is a political appointee.

      • There has been no discussion of a 737 grounding or even of a concern for the 737’s currently flying. We need the CVR to understand what happened on SJ182.

        Dickson’s appointment is for 5 years, so will become eligible for reappointment at the end of Biden’s term in 2024, unless he resigns.

        • Rob:

          You seem to have missed another reality.

          Dickson can be canned and I expect he will be.

          That is US Supreme court ruling in other case that had very specific language in its regulations that it could not be done.

          I acknowledged that I was wrong he had been canned but I believe extremely likely he will be. DOT positions are too important to the administration to leave in the hands of a prevou9s political appointee.

          • TW, Biden could request Dickson’s resignation and he could resign. He could also refuse and be fired for cause. Or he could be fired for cause outright by the administration.

            I don’t believe he will be fired for cause, as he has given none. I believe he will do his best to work with the Biden administration. But if he is asked to resign, I also believe he will, not wanting to interfere with the administration’s agenda.

            So it comes down to whether Biden asks. But Dickson is lawfully appointed for a fixed term and has done a good job, so I would hope Biden would respect that. We’ll have to see.

          • Yes . A 5 year term is a ‘ceiling’ not a floor. Same thing goes for head of FBI with a 5 year term but one was removed early ‘recently’- not going there.
            Dickson doesnt seem partisan and the top level of political appointees resigned recently over ‘the big event’ so those positions are currently open

          • @ Rob
            “I don’t believe he will be fired for cause, as he has given none. I believe he will do his best to work with the Biden”

            Since you dismiss “opinion” and “speculation” where others are concerned, why should anyone atttach any significance to what you “believe”?
            Double standards!

          • Bryce, note that I specified this was a belief, I did not represent it as fact or truth. It has no more significance than I gave it. You are free to dismiss it if you choose. There is no double standard.

          • > Dickson can be canned and I expect he will be.

            I don’t think he will be, but we’ll see.

          • Rob:

            No cause is needed. See Supreme Court ruling on Presidential Powers.

            That ruling was within an agency that had even more specific laws of formation and the ruling was the President can do anything he wants to in administration.

            If you will note the Secretary of Dept of Transportation has said “Safety” is prime.

            Dickson did nothing to reform the FAA and is much to high a position not to have the confidence of either Biden or Butigieg and rightfully so. Lip service to safety is not the same as acualy doing something about it like some believe.

            With the new legislation this is also an excellent time to make a clean sweep of the FAA.

          • The Scotus decision about the head of the Consumer Finance Bureau was more complicated as the law said they could ONLY be removed for ‘inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance’, a very high standard.
            This is different wording than say the heads of FBI or FAA who can only be fired from fixed terms ‘for cause’. The cause could well be policy disagreement with the President.
            Other Cabinet level officials serve only ‘at the pleasure of the President’ which means in practice the president only have to ask for resignation or they are fired instead. Those officials who ‘serve at the pleasure’ normally submit their resignations when a new President is sworn in – except those with fixed terms.

    • @ Leon:
      “Could we see a 787 crash? In April 2019 Boeing said that the MAX was safe too. Is Dickson already calculating how many 787 will crash? Who would trust Dickson with his criminal reputation?”

      Having worked on the 787 program during development and post EIS, I am amazed that we haven’t seen a 787 crash yet. There have been several close calls, for example, one involving an emergency landing on an ETOPS island in the middle of the south pacific not that long ago (I believe it was a UA airplane?). We have a stretch of good luck, lower 787 ASMs, and the skills of the top tier airlines and flight crew to thank (and generally these are the more experienced, observant, and cautious crews who fly 787s). One could hope that the good luck will last the entire life of the program, but historically, that has seldom been the case and I dread the day when the cows come home on this subject.

      • Keeping the record straight, the Emergency landing was an RR engine issue and I don’t assign any Boeing responsibility for engines.

        While aircraft and engines are related, engines have their own path of certification’s and Boeing had no reason to question RR at the time.

        I would totally agree if Boeing new they would cover it up, but believing that vs it having happened is based on the track record.

        The batteries indeed were Boeing responsibility and incredibly lucky that did not result in a crash.

        With all the lack of quality control it is indeed a wonder so far its not had a disastrous flight.

        Despite Covd, Boeing still does not get it.

        The reduction in lightening protection reminds me of the Maconda oil blowout where they kept whittling away the layers of safety until it blew.

        The fit issues just makes you want to cry.

        An engineer in diapers knows better than to assume.

  8. Caution! This is an opinion piece written for the (influential) Asia Times!

    Please read


    Please note that this piece quotes the opinions of Mr Tajer, Mr Sullenberg, and Mr Hamilton

    The fact is a consensus is building or is already built

    “That leaves us with a stark conclusion – in essence, we have an aircraft that was badly designed from the start, a deadly software pilots were not aware of, an aerospace giant that has only done the minimum when it comes to fixes and dragging its feet on future fixes, and a cost-cutting culture unchanged … so, let’s unground the planes and see what happens.

    It’s a flying crap game, and you don’t hold the dice.”

    • @ Gerrard
      What a stunning and shocking article!
      My attention was particularly drawn to a quotation from captain Sullenberger, relating to the LionAir crash:
      “On that flight, one sensor failure set off “rapidly cascading effects through multiple systems that quickly became ambiguous and confusing,” he said. “It’s likely the crew never fully comprehended what was killing them, especially since they had never heard of MCAS.” ”
      And, against that background, you still hear lowlife attempts to pin blame on the pilots (as is usual for Boeing).

      As regards the cost-cutting culture being unchanged:
      We know that’s true because of the absolute sub-standard software update recently rolled out for the 747, 777 and 787 — prompting an Airworthiness Directive from the FAA. The company has learned nothing — it is devoid of any sense of quality or responsibility.

    • Real good Asia Times article, and links within- thanks.

    • An opinion piece, as Gerrard rightly pointed out. Many people in the media have bought into the MAX inherently unsafe argument, and there are many variations as to the alleged causes.

      Sully has been consistently supportive of the pilots, and has never addressed the errors that were made in the accident flights. That too is a popular narrative in the media. But the regulators have addressed them. That goes back to the wise words.

      Sully is also among those who don’t believe the regulators and all the review boards did an adequate job, and insists he needs to oversee them. But his own credentials don’t support that. Which is typical of those who hold that position. The people who are actually qualified and truly understand the process, accept the results.

      Ultimately it comes down to what is certified, what the evidence is, what the regulators found in their analysis, and what their remediation actions were. People find various ways to reject any or all of these things, but along with the accident report data, they remain the facts of record.

      • Let’s see:
        – Sully is an internationally celebrated hero and aviation icon, with decades of experience;
        – [edited as violation of Reader Comment rules.]

        Sully was invited to testify before Congress…[edited as violation of Reader Comment rules.]


        • Sully is an excellent pilot and justifiably a well respected figure, by myself as much as anyone.

          But he is not a regulator or a safety expert. So when he disagrees with the findings, I look for a factual basis, but find this is mostly his opinion.

          To which he is entitled and is able to speak freely. But it had no impact on the findings, which were carried out according to regulatory practice, and reviewed by multiple regulators and review boards around the world.

          As I pointed out earlier, Sully has also spoken out about the erosion of pilot skills and over-reliance on automation. Quite eloquently, in fact. But like many others, he has chosen to focus only on the Boeing contribution in this case. The regulators could not afford to do that, they are responsible for air safety, so they have to look at all the contributions.

          • I have to agree, key contributers to air crashes are Boeing and the FAA.

  9. “”Maybe Biden will boost BA, somehow””

    If Biden won’t secure a change and keeps Boeing’s MO, he will be part of the “clown and monkey” story.

    It might be already too late. If it’s true that 65% American pax refuse to fly MAX, it will only get worse.
    It’s not only Boeing, it’s the FAA too and the whole US system behind it.

    Only difference makers could change this,
    like Sullenberger as the FAA sheriff,
    like a Colt on every ODA person’s belt to get respect.
    That won’t happen.

      • Agreed. Sure there will be a few and the press may blow them up to majority status for a while, but its few and not long term.

      • Already demonstrated in the American data on the MAX flights that have resumed. They’ve said passenger concerns and refusal has been minimal. About what was expected.

        • American’s data come from flights during the week of Dec 29 and Jan 4, one the the most busiest of the year:

          “But the fact that American’s first Max flights were full may not tell the whole story. Flights on the first day of service carried numerous officials and aviation fans commonly known as avgeeks. And the days after covered the New Year’s holiday, including some of the busiest for U.S. airlines since the coronavirus pandemic began.”

          If there’s any solid information to the contrary, I doubt American would be as forthcoming.

          • The same story is coming out of Brazil with GOL. They carried 100,000 passengers in December, have 1,000 flights scheduled this month, have had few cancellations or refusals. Even used a MAX for their 20th anniversary flight.

  10. Pessimism from WS


    Please note an undermentioned subject, but one common enough in asset stripping management, bleeding the pension fund

    « But Wait There Is More
    If those issues were enough, BA still has issues to sort through regarding its 737 Max planes. That story is well known. What is less known is BA’s pension deficit. Boeing’s GAAP pension deficit at the end of 2019 was $15.9 billion. 2020 numbers would be higher if not for BA’s contribution, which was made in the form of $3.0 billion of BA stock.
    On November 10, 2020, The Boeing Company made a discretionary contribution of 16,726,137 shares of its common stock to The Boeing Company Employee Retirement Plans Master Trust. The contributed shares have a value of approximately $3.0 billion. An independent fiduciary has been appointed to manage the contributed Boeing shares and direct the manner and timing of the disposition of those shares.

    Source: Street Insider

    We would note that, this is the state of BA’s pension fund, at what is likely close to the end of a rather long bull market. If the stock market heads lower or even goes sideways for a few years, expect this pension deficit to widen. »

    • So, when the beast finally does go “belly up”, its employees can forget about a decent pension. No wonder they’re not motivated.

      • Trust me, lack of pension let alone benefits boosts your morale and performance to no end. We love it.

        So much so that I just walked in one day and quit.

        I can only assume from the Boeing performance a lot of their people beat me to it!

  11. I find the comments of those who pooh-pooh Capt. Sullenberger’s opinions regarding the 737MAX opinion quite interesting.

    Remember *who exactly* approved the single-sensor MCAS
    system; and apparently OK’d it not being mentioned in
    the manual; and fought the need for SIM training all the way..

    Yep, trust the “experts”, natch. 😉

    We’ll see how it goes..

    • Bill, there’s an easy explanation for the gratuitous dismissal of Sullenberger’s input — you know the saying:
      “Empty vessels make most noise”

      Silimar disrespect is shown to the US Congress…indeed to any and all who don’t comply with the pro-Boeing narrative.

    • All of those events have been discussed and explained here, and by the relevant authorities, in factual detail. Distrust requires rejection of those facts and findings, as noted above.

      This argument is self-reinforced and circular, I distrust the authorities because I don’t believe their findings, because they can’t be trusted, because they didn’t find in support of my beliefs. There is no appeal to facts or reason or logic. There is only reinforcement of the belief.

      • > There is no appeal to facts or reason or logic.

        Mmm, two 737MAXes falling out of the sky due to a system
        that *should never by any stretch have been approved* seems to me an appeal to facts..

        That commenter seems to be saying: “Trust us now, OF COURSE; have we ever, ever failed you before?”

        What Pierson and Captain Sullenberger are doing is courageous: sticking their necks out, when the trend
        is all the other way..

        Kudos to them.

        • This response proves my point, and also provides an excellent example. The findings are rejected in favor of the belief, without refuting the factual basis or foundation of the findings.

          • Well that is truly a Crock Pot worth of spin.

            Oh yes, lest we forget Boeing and the FAA caused two crashes in the first place.

          • > This response proves my point

            Please provide particulars- otherwise this comment
            seems very lazy. “..the belief”?

            What belief is *that*, Pray Tell?

            Corporatism seems to cast quite a [well-monied, for some, for now] spell..

      • Blindly thrusting authorities, Boeing, even when they became the same people. Reinstalling aggressive grandfathered certification, to remain competitive. Allow major changes to be certified as minors, cleaning up safety track records, creating exemptions when meeting requirements proved impractical. Putting pressure on certifying staff to speed up, approve. Waiting for official investigation reports, to have attention fade away. Sponsor congress to streamline FAA, unpowering regulators.

        Dismiss all as bashing, hide behind unknowns, if it suits.. It kills innocent people and brought Boeing on it’s knees.

        A change in safety culture seems necessary. .

      • > and by the relevant authorities

        Mmm, that makes me feel very confident. [sic]

        Fully-Financialized, No-QC Boing better hope a fourth all-fatalitites 737 crash doesn’t happen any time soon.
        But since they and that commenter have an apparent monopoly on “truth” and “reality”, maybe it doesn’t matter. 😉

  12. Rob said:

    > This argument is self-reinforced and circular, I distrust the authorities because I don’t believe their findings, because they can’t be trusted, because they didn’t find in support of my beliefs. There is no appeal to facts or reason or logic. There is only reinforcement of the belief. <

    Nay, nay: this commenter distrusts the authorities because they previously approved a *grossly flawed MCAS system* in the 737MAX. That is a fact, and there is no tautology to be found there.

    "We got it right *this time*, folks; sorry 346 of you had to die!"

    Pierson doesn't agree, Sully doesn't agree, and I will go with
    those opinions over those of you, Boing, and the likely regulatorily-captured FAA.

    – if that's OK with you, of course; we now live in a time and place
    where only Fully Authorized™ opinions are allowed..

    There's a name for that kind of political climate: starts with the letter 'F', and was last in full bloom in the 1930s.

    • Keeping in mind those same experts were the cause of the two crashes, it is pretty bizzare view of the world.

  13. > by the relevant authorities, in factual detail. Distrust requires rejection of those facts and findings, as noted above. <

    It'll be interesting to see how Boing does with its past and [potential] future customers; those interactions will say
    much, I think.

    Thanks for your input!

    • Bill7:

      At one time I was both a technician in charge of fixing system issues and an operator keeping an eye on the system.

      I was not a programmer and worked with a former technician who had turned into a installer and programs and was very good at it.

      He hated how I had my system setup for view. I told him many times, you are looking at it from a distorted view, I have to straddle both worlds of monitoring and catching problem and fixing them (generally the failure were not program issued once we had a system sorted out)

      A few years ago he was put into a position where he was an Operator as well as the upgrade/programmer .

      He had the integrity to agree that he understood why I had the views setup the way I did, as an operator 95% of your work was different than a technicians take.

      The problem with people like Rob is he never actually operated anything and does not begin to get it.

      Rob has never flown an airplane. Sullenberger not only has but has the credentials to go with it. Talk is worthless let alone not factual, doing is what counts, Sullenberger did.

      Rob is not even good cherry picking.

  14. A disturbing trend, not only on this site or by that commenter (not at all!) is toward “Only the Official, Corporate Narrative has any validity Whatsoever; anyone who puts their head slightly
    above the parapet- regardless of their expertise- to claim otherwise is by definition *Wrong*, and should be summarily punished..”

    We all know how this goes, (and *ends up*), folks..

    • It’s not a matter of valuing only the official narrative. Dissent also has value, if it is factually based, or can be shown to be a more accurate representation of reality.

      I’ve appealed to people here, many times, to give their factual basis to refute that given by the FAA in the AD summary document. Or to present their criticisms, facts and evidence to the relevant authorities for action. The invitation remains open.

      • that commenter’s claim has been- as I understand it!- that
        the Official, Corporate Version of Events is *always*
        accurate, utterly true, and definitive:

        “Would we lie to you?”

        Corporatism is the religion of this time, at least for the Few.

      • Good thing that commenter is around to define “factually based”, “truth”, and “reality”; otherwise, how would any of
        us know? 😉

        Boing 737s keep falling out of the sky: three all-fatalities crashes under 2 1/2 years.

        Fact, or fiction? That commenter will surely tell us give us the final™ word..

      • Good thing that commenter is around to define “factually based”, “truth”, and “reality”; otherwise, how would any of
        us know? 😉

        Boing 737s keep falling out of the sky: three all-fatalities crashes under 2 1/2 years.

        Fact, or fiction? That commenter will surely give us the final™ word..

      • > Dissent also has value, if it is factually based

        Who does the Deciding, and on what basis?
        It’s an old question, and a very good one.

      • Bill7:

        No, its a minority view even if its like a mosquito in the bedroom at night.

        You just have to keep swatting at it until you guish it.

        Don’t stop now.

  15. > I’ve appealed to people here, many times, to give their factual basis

    Question: have there been three all-fatalities crashes of Boing 737 commercial, passenger-carrying airplanes in the last 2 1/2 years?

    Just trying to establish some facts that we can all agree on; to further the factual, fact-based discussion.

  16. >Rob is not even good cherry picking.

    Pithily accurate, TW.

  17. Comments are closed, thanks to TW, Bill7